‘Mean Streets,’ directed by Martin Scorsese

Movie, 1973

Gritty story about mob goings on in New York, focussing on the relationship between Charlie and his steadily unravelling sidekick, Johnny Boy. In what feels like a very visceral, brutally shot production, there’s a good deal going on in terms of family relationships, religious symbols and loyalty, all playing off and out with various levels of betrayal. The clubs, restaurants and bars all feel authentic and give a seedy atmosphere, which however much hope springs, sees likely to win out in the end. Some great acting in what feel like improvised scenes and a few moments of humour, with the violent scenes in no way gratuitous or stylised.

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